Friday, July 27, 2012

How to Stockpile Medical Supplies: Part 1

Matthew gets 300 test strips a month and sometimes it's not enough.

When you take into account "normal" testing" plus highs, lows, activity, basal testing,'s a wonder we don't run out more often!

For nearly a year, I bought extra strips on Amazon--those suckers are expensive!  We'd go through one $50 tube in 5 days.

Thankfully, I've learned how to play the game.

If you have a newly diagnosed child, I hope these tips will help.  I'll share 2 tips today and 2 more in my next post.

Some Tips To Help

Number One  How the prescription is written can change everything.  The wording is sometimes very important.

Example A  When our prescrition was written for "300 strips per month," it caused problems with our mail order company.  Our script must say "300 strips per month.  Tests up to 10 times a day."  If that "testing part" isn't in there, the mail order company balks and they delay.

Example B  Matthew uses Omnipod and we never run out of pods.  Why?  Because of the way the prescription is written.  Matthew changes his pod every 3 days.  The prescription is written that he changes the pod every 2 days.  We never run out of pods and it's a huge blessing.

Talk with your CDE about this if you're having trouble.  They should be willing to help.  And if you'e not getting the answers you need, ask another D-Mom for their input.  Those who have been in the trenches longer really do understand the system and will happily share info.

Number Two  Get a Quantity Override Form if necessary.

When Matthew was first diagnosed, the pharmacy told me "200 strips is all we can give you. Your insurance company won't let you have more."  Wrong!

Yes, many insurance companies limit the number of test strips (or other items) that you can have each month, BUT in many cases, you can have your doctor's office fill out a Quantity Override Form to increase your monthly limit.

Once our CDE did that (she was happy to help!) and we got approved for 300 strips a month.  (Of course, we still run out sometimes.  My next post will cover that.)

One Note  If you have a Quantity Override Form, find out how long it lasts.  Our insurance company requires a new form each year, but I didn't realize that until the date passed.  We had to wait weeks to go through the approval process again!  Mark your calendar and get that form faxed in early so there's no lapse in supplies.

Need More Help?

Next week I'll share my number one tip for stockpiling.

It's the only reason I finally have extra boxes of strips in my cabinet.

Related posts
Should You Stockpile Medical Supplies?
How to Stockpile Medical Supplies Part 2


Joanne said...

We also have our rx for the pod written that way. It really helps for the times you do have to change every two (or even one) days due to a kinked cannula or the insulin going bad.

We have our strips rx for 1200 for three months. But that barely leaves us with extra, especially since we stopped using the dexcom.

Good tips!

Tracy1918 said...


1200 strips every 3 months. AMAZING! I've never heard of anyone getting more than 900/month.

Sandy said...

Great advise! We don't really have trouble getting supplies. I just order them through minimed as needed and I never ran into a problem. I am not sure if it's the way the doctor is writing the scripts, our insurance, or minimed that is great, or maybe all three, but we are very lucky and never have a problem getting what is needed. Insulin was a hassle for a while. The local pharmacy wanted the script worded just "so".

Kelly said...

Love the tips...keep them coming!

Redhead Living said...

We used to run out of strips also. Last winter, we were given a prescription for 350, and at our last visit we were bumped to 400 per month! Hopefully, we can begin our stockpiling!

oxygen concentrator said...

stockpiling medical supplies is indeed a good thing to do, but why not consider donating...?

Unknown said...

Awesome tips Tracey! Wish I had this when Joe was first diagnosed. So helpful.

Tracy1918 said...

oxygen concentrator,

I agree with you! That's one of the reasons I think people should stockpile.

I wrote about what a blessing it is to share with people in the previous post, Should You Stockpile Medical Supplies.

The link is